Pin Pillow

This is my favorite kind of crazy patch quilting,using otherwise useless pieces of old needlework.  One reason is that I love antique textiles and another is that I like to recycle.

The Victorian style dresser pillow for favorite mementos was created from a medley of vintage handwork,  from doilies to table linens, antique laces, ribbons and trims.

This 8″ x 10″ oval pin pillow, outlined with piping and antique lace edging, is a daily reminder of happy days in the past. A felt pad cushions the pin backs and prevents scratches on the dresser.

By selecting one main color for laces and embroideries, a certain degree of order and organization is maintained. For the pictured pin pillow, lavender and tiny bits of green and yellow provide the only color on an otherwise neutral bed of laces.

I don’t often use these pins but when I do, they are all together. And for all the time when they are unused, I enjoy the fond memories they hold. I recall teaching at Martha Pullen’s schools, dear Mildred Turner’s Mimi’s Smock Shop, Brother conventions, Sewing at the Beach (Myrtle Beach) and Australia.

I finger the souvenir pins from quilting workshops I attended with my friend, Suzanne Sawko and the 4-H pin awarded for my time as a leader of a club focused on needlework. My daughter gave me the Mont Saint Michel pin after her time as a high school exchange student in France, and the La Sainte Chapelle pin from the summer she spent in Paris studying at La Sorbonne. It reminds me of how much I missed her during those time periods.

And of course, there is my jeweled alligator to adorn my team gear at Florida Gator football games. The memories are as varied and valued as the textiles on this pillow.

A pin pillow is a meaningful gift for a special needlework friend. When handling the scraps and left over stitches of a kindred spirit from another era, it is hard not to speculate about her thoughts as she worked her needle and thread. For many, it gives quiet understanding to the tie that binds the sisterhood of needleworkers.

Those who fail to appreciate the value of artfully arranged aged stitches can certainly appreciate the practicality of such an item.

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